Cozy Food Friday!
That means it's time to share a recipe from
another great cozy mystery!
Today's recipe comes from
SHADOW OF A SPOUT
Book 2 in the Teapot Collector Mystery series
by Amanda Cooper
aka Victoria Hamilton
Title: Shadow of a Spout
Series: Teapot Collectors Mysteries Book #2
Author: Amanda Cooper, aka Victoria Hamilton
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pub. Date: April 7th, 2015
Avid teapot collector Rose Freemont takes a break from her Victorian tea house only to find a new mystery brewing elsewhere...
Leaving her home in Gracious Grove behind her, Rose is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she’s away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.
But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia’s found dead beside Rose’s dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother’s aid and find the real killer—before Rose is steeped in any more trouble…
Amanda is so excited about the release of
SHADOW OF A SPOUT
she's giving away one copy to a lucky winner!
Giveaway open to US and Canada.
Please use the Rafflecopter for at the end of the post.
I had a chance to talk with Amanda.
I hope you enjoy our chat!
LKBR: Hi Amanda. Thank you for being here today.
AC: Thank you so much for having me!
LKBR: What inspired you to become an author?
AC: There was never a time that I can remember when I didn’t want to be an author. But it crystallized when I was twelve or so, and my mother got me started reading Agatha Christie books. That began it all, for me.
LKBR: You wrote romances before moving on to cozy mysteries. Why the change? Will you write romance again?
AC: There was never really a ‘change’, per se. I always wanted to be a mystery writer, and I wrote mysteries (unpublishable and unpublished) before I wrote romance. Romance writing (as Donna Simpson, then Donna Lea Simpson) started as a way to get published, but I found I enjoyed it so much I stayed for a long time, ten years.
Lately I’ve been feeling the tug of unfinished series. I wrote a paranormal historical series, starting with Awaiting the Moon. It was always meant to have a fourth book to finish the series, Awaiting the Magic, now half written. I MUST finish that. And I wrote a romance/mystery/historical series, the Lady Anne Mysteries. I have so many adventures to send Lady Anne on, and so many threads left unfinished. I’d like to write novellas for that.
LKBR: SHADOW OF A SPOUT, the second book in your Teapot Collector series was released Tuesday. It is wonderful! How did you come up with the idea for the series?
AC: Actually, the series started with my wonderful editor at Berkley, who had an idea for the Teapot Collector series, and she was looking for an author. I wrote up a proposal, she liked my handling of it, and I was hired!
LKBR: Can you give us any hints on what we’ll see in the third book?
AC: Well, it does take place in Gracious Grove this time, and includes the same gang, with more between Sophie and Jason. The murder threatens to tear them apart in ways I won’t get into, endangering their very fragile relationship. That’s all I’m saying! I’m in the midst of writing it right now!
LKBR: Do you have plans or an idea for another series?
AC: I always have more ideas! But with three series, (I write Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria Hamilton) I have more than enough on my plate right now.
LKBR: What are three things you would like your readers to know about you?
1 – I really enjoy the interaction we have on Facebook… when folks post their lovely teapots, or vintage kitchen stuff and mention me in the post so I see it, I like that!
2 – As authors, we appreciate that readers go out of their way to buy our books. SO much! I’m deeply grateful. If you love a series and are able, buy the book the first week of publication. The publishing company sees that and it means they will contract the writer for more of that series!
3 - I love hearing from readers. It is such a bright spot in my day to hear not just that readers like a book, but WHY!
LKBR: Thank you again, Amanda, for stopping by and for the giveaway! Best of luck on SHADOW OF A SPOUT.
AC: Thanks, Lisa, for hosting me!
On to the recipe!
CHERRY BLOSSOM COOKIES
Yield: 48 cookies
1 cup butter or shortening
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup finely chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
Slivered almonds and maraschino cherries to decorate
Cream the butter or shortening and cream cheese together, then add the sugar, egg and almond extract.
Sift the dry ingredients together and stir into the creamed mixture, then add the chopped nuts, if desired.
Chill the dough thoroughly, then form chilled dough into 1-inch balls.
Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, flatten slightly and with your thumb make an indentation in the center.
Press a cherry half into the indented center of each cookie, and use slivered almonds to form petals around the cherry center.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes.
NOTE: All images are from Google Images and/or Pinterest.
Your cookie may vary in appearance.
Okay, I'm ready to bake a batch!
How about you?
Keep reading to check out my installments of
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56
Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading
Keeping my Cozy Food Friday theme going...
Book Beginnings this week is from
SHADOW OF A SPOUT by Amanda Cooper
Book 2 in the Teacup Collector Mystery series
The dark-paneled meeting room of the Stone and Scone Inn was full on the first afternoon of the annual August convention of the New Your State division of the ITCS, the International Teapot Collectors Society. Rose Freemont should have been listening to the speaker, but instead she examined her treasure. It was a homely thing, the metal teapot, battered and beaten, like a raggedy old man who has been buffeted about by the elements and fallen on hard times. But like that raggedy man, it had a past, a purpose, and meaning.
The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.
Continuing with the SHADOW OF A SPOUT theme
My Friday 56
An ominous sense of dread was building up in her; she kept visualizing Zunia's dead eyes staring straight up to the ceiling, blood streaked across her forehead.
Author Amanda Cooper has brewed another winning cup of mystery with her second addition to her Teapot Collector Mystery series.
As with book one, TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT, this book was written from different POVs. It follows several of the characters through the story, allowing the reader to actually be in key scenes as opposed to “hearing” about them through other characters in the book.
While I was surprised SHADOW OF A SPOUT left Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House and Gracious Grove behind with this being only the second book in the series (a lot of authors may have waited until further into a series), I found it to be very enjoyable. Well done, Ms. Cooper. That being said, I do look forward to getting back to Gracious Grove.
The mystery of who killed Zuna Pettigrew (love that name), was not short on suspects, with main character Rose Freemont topping the list. I had my suspect all picked out and ended up being very wrong. I love when a book does that to me.
With SHADOW OF A SPOUT, author Copper has certainly assured there will be more books in this wonderful series. Especially with the last few paragraphs bound to leave readers steeping as they wait.
Don’t miss A Cup Of Enlightenment at the back of the book (right after a yummy Cherry Blossoms Cookie recipe). It’s a wonderful and extremely interesting explanation on types of tea and how to steep them properly, written by Karen Owen aka Karen Mom of Three who writes the blog and FB pages, A Cup Of Tea And A Cozy Mystery. I’d love to see more of these features in future books in this series.
To learn more about Amanda Cooper and the Teapot Collector Mysteries see these pages:
Killer Characters – 21st of each month: http://www.killercharacters.com
Victoria Hamilton/Amanda Cooper on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton
Teapot Collector Mysteries on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amanda-Coopers-Teapot-Collector-Mysteries/296605927102353
Teapot Collector Mysteries on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vintagekitchenm/teapot-collector-mysteries/
Photo credit: Karen Owen aka Karen Mom of Three
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